With an emphasis on the 'painless'. Ive come up with a couple of ideas that have been working for me recently.
One clutter problem stems from toys/things that belong in the back room (therefore inconvenient to walk to when cleaning up quickly) have nowhere to go in the front room.
So now, i put them in the washing basket. Every morning, i take the washing basket to my laundrey/bathroom anyway, and drop things off into the other room on the way. Painless!
I still end up with a bit of kitchen countertop clutter...usually little things like marbles, or lego pieces that i dont have time to put away right then and there. Now i put as much away as possible first thing in the morning . That helps.
Any other ideas from some experienced declutterers?
In the garage, we have a box for "donate" and a box for "sell". I add to this all the time, almost daily. Then when I have time I list the for sale stuff. I take the donate stuff when we are going to be near the drop off location. This is probably what helps us the most out of anything. As for putting things back, I just try to do it after I use the item. I am not great at it. But having less stuff around does help with that, too, because even if a few things are out, it isn't a ton of stuff.
Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH
I do delcutter as i go, but that depends on where i am going! Ie, im doing something else, in a hurry, not going in that direction... i did say 'painless'. Thats why the washing basket works for me, because i know things will get redistributed into their proper location the next day when im doing the washing....
I found something better, because the 'little things like marbles' can accumulate on the kitchen countertop, and i dont always have time to put them all away every morning.
Enter the...box that is nailed to the wall-little things go in there to be put away when i can, every so often. That way, clutter is off the countertop, and on a harmless little spot on the wall that is otherwise unused space. I also put pencils that need sharpening in there.
Its really solved that problem.
I see that not many people are replying to this thread. These kind of ideas change my life, and are great time and well as space savers.
Any other original ideas out there?
Katie, mommy to Oliver (2007) and brand new Ava Estelle (2014)!
Decluttering Challenge: 303/2014 items are gone!
$728 made from selling my "stuff"
(I've gotten rid of 3711 items over the last four years on this forum! Last years selling total: $456)
In my case, if its not painless, it doesnt get done often enough. I thrive on a daily routine of painless but effective. The key is to to do things on the way to doing other things-like redistributing toys in the playroom, on my way to the laundry.
I constantly re-evaluate everything I use.
I keep a box by the front door and throw things I no longer want / need in there as I go. When I know I'll be passing the care and share, I pop the box in the back of the van. Or make it a point to go if the box fills up.
I have made "put it away" a mantra for myself and everyone else in the house. We have the donation bag by the door, we routinely edit posessions, so the number one source of clutter stems from people not putting things away immediately after they've finished using them.
I have a number of systems in place that allow things to be put away in a place that is logical and easy - for example, the entryway closet is a well-organized drop point for bags, jackets, hats, etc. - but NOTHING that I set up or create will help if they won't do it. It's taken months of patiently insisting, but they are starting to get better. I think they're just tired of being asked to stop whatever they're doing and come pick up something they've left behind.
My DH has been the toughest nut to crack, but I've been hitting the "setting a good example" angle - he likes that - and he's gotten much better.
And the boys - no one ever wanted to part with anything until faced with, "Oh, ok - you're keeping that? WHERE are you keeping it...where does it belong? Can you put it there now?" And then suddenly donation looks like a more appealing option. :D
So...I'm 43 and pregnant with #3 - how'd that happen?
I like this. I dot something similar although probably not constantly enough. That is deliberate though, because clutter in time is as bad as clutter in space, ie, i dont want to spend all day thinking about it.
Nonetheless, i dont have room for a box near the door. So i have one in the middle room on the way to the laundry. I still wonder if that box is taking up too much space though...still trying to solve that problem.
We have a donation box and put-away-as-you-go habit. For painless, though, as far as I'm concerned nothing beats just doing a small bit and then walking away. Instead of a whole room I'll tackle an end-table or the ottoman, or one window sill (ours are over 10" deep and do duty as shelving, etc.) at a time, then call it done.
Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), and an overachieving mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
I use the seasonal changes & activities as times to throw away & de-clutter around the year.
* Dec-Jan = Pre Lunar New Year clean & tidy - the apartment block has a special recycle bin for used but usable clothes. It's also the traditional time to do a big sweep out & clean
* Spring shift to Summer clothes - Usually in June - it's a traditional saying that you don't put away the winter woolies until after Dragon Boat Festival (5th day of 5th Lunar month).
* Summer - I usually have a week or 2 off from work & this is often when I try to clear out kitchen & bathroom cabinets or under the bathroom sink
* Fall - before the kids start school - go through their wardrobes & rooms & check for clothes & school supplies
Also there are 2 "garage sales" per year at my work - so another chance to gi through things & look for stuff to sell or give away.
Edited to add: This is the answer to continuously (or at least, regularly) - it's never painless ;)
1. I put all small things (usually toys), into little containers or bags, which in turn goes into one big box. That way small things have a home. These small things have a way of becoming clutter if they dont have anywhere to go. My kids love to get out this box and rediscover all these little toys.
2. I see a toy/book/item of clothing i dont need, i put it in my outbox (usually my stroller), and leave it somewhere on the roadside, or near my building, where someone else who might find it useful can pick it up. I dont save things like this in a giveaway box anymore-that box takes up too much valuable space. If it needs to go, it goes out immediately. For eg, today, i left a book downstairs , with a couple of cassettes. The day before, i left a small figurine the kids dont use.
Newspaper articles buildup is a problem for me. I see something that contains useful information, so i want to keep it. I put the clippings in a bag, and subsequently forget!
Now, i have a system, where the minute i see this article, i write down the topic on notepaper, which goes in the bag. I might file it alphabetically. Still thinking about this one.....
Still looking for ideas....
I have a small box for spare parts-i find a screw on the floor-its probably the screw needs to fix that toy wheel. I put the screw in the box. When its time to fix the wheel, i know to look in the box. (this rather than throw out the screw, and the wheel, because i was too lazy to think about it)
So this magic box, has solved some clutter problems for me.
The one that im working on, is the 'fix that torn page in a book" problem. I used to leave the book on the table, that became a pile of books, and so on and so forth.
I still like the idea of fixing that thing first thing in the morning, but what if several days go by and there was no time?
Im not allowed to leave that book on the counter for more than 12 hours. But if out of sight, out of mind.
Im still working on that conundrum..